Mapping the ‘City’ in a Digitalized Era


Session Title:

  • Mapping the City and Urban Identity

Presentation Title:

  • Mapping the ‘City’ in a Digitalized Era




  • Today’s cities are no longer limited to the experience of physical spaces. Cities are now understood as ‘Cybercities’, ‘Sentient Cities’, or ‘Hybrid Cities’.The digitization of the city with technologies embedded into its streets and buildings and carried by people and vehicles has appended an informational membrane, hovering over the urban fabrics. The way citizens and visitors live and feel a city is beginning to be profoundly affected by this information layer. This transformation leads the “behavior” of the city to become as important as its physical aspects. For instance its ‘networks’, ‘nodes’ and ‘connectivity’ are now made by the relationship between the city and its wireless infrastructures, mobile devices, social software and other sensor networks. Locative and mobile media can be seen as the interface between the digital domain and the city, bringing the digital world into the physical world, and at the same time uploading and sharing real world experiences back to the digital world.

    The dissolution of information systems into the urban life creates opportunities for new kinds of interaction that must now be taken into account. Interactions are  informational traces left by people  generating a myriad of flows of data that move in and around the built fabric. This is a new kind of data, collective and individual, aggregated and discrete, open and closed, constantly logging impossibly detailed patterns of behavior, which they also have a potential physical presence when fed back to the benefits of citizens and systems that generate them.

    In this paper I am going to investigate through a number of media art projects: How people deal with this emerging relation between digital technologies and the city? How is new cultural identity shaped through these projects?  Furthermore, I would like to study what are the useful concepts about the blurring/merging of physical and digital spaces. Play and interactivity are the main features of the media art projects chosen for this paper.

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